Mourne Rambling GroupLocation: County Down
Founded in 1969, the hills we walk are mainly, but not exclusively, the Mournes. We are unusual in that we walk every Sunday of the year, offering up to three or four walks. We have a range of starting points over the year to give a wide variety of walks. Our club has members from throughout Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland. The background of our club is varied, ranging from hill walkers and mountaineers, through to skiers, runners, cyclists, bird watchers and kayakers. There may even be the odd couch potato.
What unites us is a love of the hills, and all the associated activities such as wildlife, photography, star gazing and travel. Members have trekked, not just in Europe and Africa, but in more remote mountain regions including the Karakorum, Himalaya, New Zealand, Canadian Rockies and Andes. The committee decides on the programme of walks for the entire year, specifying the grid reference of the start point and the leaders for each of the groups. This programme is distributed to members.
Membership is available for those 18 and over. We have two membership officers, who will help you decide which group may be appropriate. They will provide you with detailed advice sheets on recommended gear and safety procedures. We do not allow dogs on the walks.
In addition to enjoying the company of others, and the built- in social dimension of trips away, we each year have
- a club picnic
- an annual dinner
- a digital imaging show and meal
- regular newsletters
- special walks, such as the star trek; and Bring-a-Bag Day (keeping the hills clean)
We encourage all members to do some leading, although we appreciate this is not for everyone. We provide training on a fairly regular basis, covering
- basic skills of navigation, and route planning
- group management, including emergency procedures
- advanced navigation, which has included night navigation for the romantics among us.
We and also have experienced leaders as mentors and encourage the uptake of places on the excellent UFRC courses, such as, outdoor/hill First Aid and navigation including GPS.
Our regular walks
- are led walks. If the group is large we make use of a back marker, and sometimes a middle marker
- usually start between 9.30 am and 10.30 am
- vary in ascent from approximately 600m to 1100m, depending on the group you chose and usually last between 4.0 and 5.5 hours
Our trips away
- tend to have 3 to 4 days walking, especially in Ireland
- may be longer if we cross water eg North Wales
We have approximately 146 members, and always welcome new faces such as
- active hill and mountain walkers, those with limited hill experience and those new to hill walking
- having spoken with a new members’ officer, walkers may join us for a couple of walks, before deciding whether they wish to become members.